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Uganda's Mufuma is First African to Win Junior Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

Ethan Mufuma says being the first African child to win this Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition-QCEC ever since its inception in 1883 is an extraordinary achievement which must be given the necessary attention by the state.
Sr. Immaculate Nabukalu, headteacher Uganda Martyrs Namilyango Junior Boys School and Ethan Mufuma posing for a photo.

Audio 4



Ethan Charles Mufuma, a thirteen-year-old Ugandan pupil who has been declared winner of the junior Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition-QCEC for the year 2021 wants a state recognition.

Mufuma says being the first African child to win this QCEC ever since they were started in 1883 is an extraordinary achievement which must be given the necessary attention by the state.

He notes that President Yoweri Museveni should not only stop at awarding the sports gold medalists but also him because he also raised the Ugandan flag higher.

Nathan Mckenzie, the chief operating officer of the Royal Commonwealth Society officially announced Ethan Charles Mufuma of Uganda Martyrs Namilyango Junior Boys School on September 28 as the winner of the QCEC.

Ethan's poem, Okware Our Pandemic Epic beat the other 13,050 junior category entries received from children across the Commonwealth to become the champion in that category.

During the virtual declaration by the commonwealth essay writing committee in London, Mckenzie noted that Ethan's piece was unanimously chosen by the panel of judges ahead of the others because of its perfect storyline, natural taste and exceptional facts presented in poetry under the theme Community in the Commonwealth.

//Cue in: “We see many …   

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Mufuma thinks that in a meeting with President Museveni, he would ask him for a scholarship which will help him become a cardiologist. He wants to save the parents of children born with heart complications from the hustle of flying to India for surgeries because he believes he will be able to do what the cardiologists in India do, here in Uganda.

  Sr. Immaculate Nabukalu, Mufuma’s headteacher says it has taken 138 years for the first African to win the QCEC. Sr. Nabukalu says it’s worthy for this continental success to be celebrated.

//Cue in: “He is the first …   

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She says schools must stop putting emphasis only on seeing the pupils and students pass with distinctions but focus on developing all the children’s skills that will help them stand out whenever they go.

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  Moses Kibuuka, Mufuuma’s teacher says English language teachers must also help their learners to speak, write and compete. He says learners should also be made to love the language.

//Cue in: “If you trace …   

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  Mufuma says it took him over a month developing his award winning piece “Okware Our Pandemic Epic” which followed the theme: “Community in the Commonwealth” but with selected topics for each category.

He wrote on a topic; “Tell a story of how you or someone you know helped others during the pandemic.”

The Queen's Commonwealth Essay writing competition is the oldest essay writing competition that started in 1883. 

Every year, participants from all commonwealth countries and beyond take part in both the junior category which has participants below 14yrs and the seniors of 14 to 18yrs. Submissions are made by 30th June before 11:59pm and the results take about three months to be released.

The winner and runners- up in each category win a trip to London where they spend a week touring different sites before gathering for the prize giving ceremony. In Uganda, only 48 learners participated in the 2021 edition.

Sr. Nabukalu says other recognized writers from Namilyango Junior Boys are; Michael Victor Mugerwa, Verity Muwanguzi and Emran Mulindwa who are Silver award winners. Hillary Ssekiranda he won a Bronze award and Humphrey Muwanga a certificate of participation. 

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